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Sustainability | 2022-02-28 22:07:44

Top 10 Sustainable Tour Operators

When you travel for business or pleasure, it’s important to look for travel companies that use ethical, sustainable practices. Fortunately, there are a lot of them out there, and they can make responsible travel an unforgettable experience. Here are the top 10 sustainable travel companies that can help you book your next purposeful trip.

Why Sustainable Travel Is Important

Before diving into the list of the top 10 eco-friendly traveling companies, it’s important to understand what responsible travel is and why it’s important. When you travel sustainably, you reduce the negative environmental impact caused by non-sustainable travel.

The travel industry can be catastrophic to the environment and to the local communities and cultures visited. When you use sustainable techniques and companies while traveling, you help to minimize the negative impact on the people and world around you. Ethical tourism involves:  

  • Raising environmental awareness
  • Protecting the environment and the animals in it
  • Working to benefit the local communities you visit
  • Managing tourist numbers and activities

These are some of the main tenets of traveling sustainably. If you’re ready to elevate your traveling experience, here are some of the top 10 responsible travel companies to consider for your next trip.

1. National Geographic Expeditions

It’s a popular television network, but did you know that National Geographic also has a sustainable travel division? The company offers eco-expeditions to some of the most beautiful and intensely wild places on the planet. As you might imagine, the primary goal of National Geographic Expeditions is to provide adventure and exploration while protecting the earth’s resources.

Proceeds from National Geographic Expeditions go toward various research programs headed by the Society, including the Enduring Voices Project, the Big Cats Initiative and the Pristine Seas Project. Whether you want to learn more about the habitats of critically endangered animals or explore some of the world’s most mysterious jungles, you can book your sustainable travel adventure guilt-free through National Geographic Expeditions.

2. Gondwana Ecotours

This New Orleans-based travel company is named after the ancient supercontinent that was once composed of all the different continents we have today. The self-stated mission of Gondwana Ecotours is to bring people from all over the world together. The company does this by creating private and small group tours that offer exhilarating adventures in some of the globe’s most exciting places. It does all this while minimizing its carbon footprint and ensuring its tours are completely carbon-neutral.

One thing tourists love about Gondwana Ecotours is that it maintains knowledgeable guides in all the different communities it visits. These guides help provide a rich history and depth of knowledge regarding the various areas included in each tour.

3. Discover Corps

Have you always wanted to book a volunteer vacation? Voluntourism isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, but if you book with Discover Corps, you can rest assured that your time will be put to good use. Discover Corps is a sustainable travel company that has worked hard to become the gold standard in the responsible volunteer vacation industry.

Trip itineraries focus on helping local communities solve environmental or social problems. Whether you book a volunteer trip to Africa or South America, your time and efforts will be utilized to richly reward the communities you visit.

4. Up Norway

Up Norway is a Norwegian tour agency that specializes in exploring the country’s incredible glaciers, fjords and mountains. It does all this while maintaining a strict sustainability policy. You can take a guided tour to see the Northern Lights in a Tesla Model X instead of riding in a big tour bus with an equally big carbon footprint.  

Up Norway goes to great lengths to ensure its tours are eco-friendly. Discover the natural beauties of Norway with this sustainable travel company and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

5. Food.Stories.Travel

If you have always wanted to taste authentic fare in Spain, Italy, Croatia, France and Portugal, now is your chance to do so in a responsible way. Food.Stories.Travel is a food tour provider that donates a percentage of its earnings to environmental and food literacy nonprofits. Not only can you taste some of the most delicious authentic foods during your tour, but you’ll also stay in some of the most charming historical areas the region has to offer. Better yet, you’ll do it all in an eco-friendly way.

6. Seacology

Seacology offers sustainable tours of islands around the world. When you travel with this company, you have the opportunity to snorkel, kayak, hike and scuba dive. You also can interact with local people who are committed to conserving their own charming communities and the animal and plant habitats surrounding them. The Seacology model is to protect the natural resources in and around these communities.

7. ROW Adventures

ROW Adventures is a sustainable travel company that aims to connect people and nature in a positive, minimally impactful way. ROW recognizes the huge carbon footprint created by the travel industry and aims to minimize that footprint. It does this by inviting tourists to engage in activities that offset carbon production.

8. Skyline Hawaii

Skyline Hawaii offers unique zipline tours on the Big Island, Maui and Kauai. The company is a member of the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii and 1% for the Planet. Its primary goal is to provide exhilarating zipline tours while remaining carbon-neutral. Its headquarters is powered by solar panels and the tours do not include any single-use plastic products.

9. Natural Habitat Adventures

Conservation through exploration is not only possible, but it’s the main goal of Natural Habitat Adventures. This sustainable travel company immerses tourists in life-changing experiences viewing polar bears, elephants and other impressive creatures in their natural environments. Natural Habitat Adventures uses carbon-offsetting measures to improve the environment.

10. Frontiers North Adventures

Frontiers North Adventures donates 2% of its pre-tax profits to eco-friendly endeavors. It offers winter polar bear tours and whale tours. The travel company won the Skal International Eco Award in 2009 and continues to take steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

Find the Right Sustainable Travel Company

Mondee makes it easy to find the perfect sustainable travel company. Whether you’re traveling across the globe or the continent, you can save money and minimize your carbon footprint with help from Mondee. Contact us to learn how to save money on your next eco-friendly trip today.